The e-commerce market in Malaysia is quickly becoming one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic that pushed consumers to switch from offline to online purchases, there has been a growing preference for online shopping. Offering unrivalled conveniences such as an expansive inventory on the world wide web and being open 24/7, this sector is expected to grow over the years. However, as more brands establish their online presence, not only are customer demands increasing, but so is the competition. While creating multiple e-commerce websites to stand out from the sea of competitors might not be feasible, having many social media platforms is. The perfect channel to communicate with customers and boost sales, leveraging on the popularity of social sharing spaces is currently the best way to attract potential buyers. But what are the added benefits of running a social media e-commerce business?
Saying that social media has taken the world by storm is an understatement. As of January 2022, approximately 58.4% of the world’s total population are active on social media, according to the Digital 2022 Global Overview Report. Allowing customers to make purchases directly through social media platforms will thus widen reach and cultivate brand awareness. From a buyer’s perspective, shopping experiences will be elevated. This is because the entire buyer’s journey beginning from product research to carting out can be done on one app. From a business perspective, the low barrier of entry means that investing in exorbitant infrastructure is not required. Going hand in hand with mobile commerce, businesses can also get creative e-commerce social media marketing strategies to draw in a unique clientele. Moreover, the omnichannel strategy supports expansion in the digital space by driving traffic to an e-commerce store.
It is unimaginable for companies to grow without any social media presence. However, understanding the difference between using these platforms to sell products and for mere marketing purposes is crucial. Selling on social media transforms goods and services into revenue. On the other hand, e-commerce social media marketing imparts exceptional consumer value by keeping loyal followers interested in the brand. Optimising a social media strategy for e-commerce to make the most of every opportunity will also boost sales.
According to reports by Accenture, 64% of social media users surveyed made a social commerce purchase in 2021. With the social commerce industry expected to grow three times faster than traditional e-commerce, the number of users turning to these platforms for information on potential purchases, product discovery and checkouts are bound to increase as well. But given the abundance of social media platform options available today, how do you choose the best one for your e-commerce business?
If numbers were the name of the game, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are the top-ranking platforms in the world given their billions of monthly active users. Having the highest number of users, they provide businesses with more potential consumers to target. While understanding the demographics of these platforms will help you choose the right social media channel to start selling, deciding between marketing and sales objectives will make things less complicated. Here are the top social media sites to consider for marketing and selling:
With approximately 2.91 billion monthly active Facebook users around the world accessing the platform, Facebook is an undisputed must-have in your business strategy. Far from the stereotypical social sharing sites, Facebook offers solutions for online stores as well. Two of these include Facebook Ads and Facebook Marketplace. The latter focuses on social commerce, allowing users to discover, buy and sell goods locally.
E-commerce Instagram marketing and selling are made possible with a business account. Boasting features not found in a regular user’s profile, businesses can inspire their target audience to purchase their offerings. If hitting sales KPIs is your ultimate goal, Instagram Shop is your one-stop-shop. Supporting the integration of product catalogues, you can promote products directly to your followers through posts and stories, as well as the Explore and Shop tab.
Once a platform to share inspiring ideas through “pins”, Pinterest now has a huge audience with spending power. Just like Instagram, a Pinterest business account makes it easy to set up shop. Entire product catalogues will be turned into Pins under the Shop tab. By layering ads to your Pinterest mix and tapping into solutions such as the Verified Merchant Programme, building brand loyalty and boosting sales will be a breeze.
All of the above-mentioned platforms are perfect for e-commerce social media marketing strategies. For example, Facebook has Facebook Ads that is possibly one of the most effective performance marketing techniques yet. However, there are other social sites that enable you to reach customers without being too hard selling.
YouTube has a potential advertising reach of 2.562 billion. Since a YouTube ad has the potential to reach an estimated 23.4 million users, marketing your brand on this channel is a must. If creating your own content to improve brand awareness is not a viable business step, influencer marketing can transform your business. Even micro-influencers will be able to get your name out to the masses and convince their subscribers that your products are better than that of your competitors.
Exploding in popularity, TikTok is another social media channel to consider and incorporate into your social media strategy. Make full use of the rise of video engagement and create a TikTok for Business account. Whether you run a small business, large enterprise or creative agency, TikTok’s algorithm works without bias, allowing all forms of content to go viral. Slowly making moves towards social commerce, Shopify merchants with a TikTok for Business account can create, run, and optimise marketing campaigns. With plans to finalise TikTok Shopping, it is only a matter of time before you can link your Shopify storefront to your videos.
Every e-commerce business owner will agree that keeping tabs on what their consumers are thinking is difficult. But with constant communication being the key to converting sales and growing a business, establishing a community-like relationship is pivotal. Twitter makes this possible by breaking down barriers in customer communication. Providing the opportunity to talk to customers in real-time, use trending hashtags, and have sponsored posts, your brand is bound to be noticed by more Twitter users.
As omnichannel retail becomes the new norm, going social is the key differentiator in the sea of e-commerce businesses. By making a splash on the best social media platforms for e-commerce, you can increase brand awareness, generate leads, and boost sales unlike any other.